2018 was a very powerful year for me. A challenging one, one of ups and downs. But if I had to summarize, one of the greatest years of my life.
I transitioned to a new job and was able to go fully remote before the end of the year. I witnessed 3 of my best friends get married. I went to Mexico City and Tulum, Brazil twice, India, and then some trips mixed in to Key West Florida, Laguna Beach, Santa Monica, San Francisco, and Dallas. I completed 18 new books. I wrote over 100 blog posts.
I’d say it was a productive year!
Today I was journaling on my favorite parts of this year and what happened along the way. I believe that in order to know where you’re going you need to know where you came from, so I like to do what I call a “lookback” to use my learnings from 2018 to bring me into 2019. What were the wins I can replicate? What were the lessons? And So on.
Here’s what that review of 2018 looks like, and then how it will shape my goal setting for 2019.
Key Learning – The power of a year. I’m amazed with everything I was able to accomplish this year. I was able to transform my financial life and save money, my body transformed and I’m in the best shape of my life, and I was able to learn more than I ever thought possible. The key learning here? A year of consistent practice and commitment can work wonders in your life. A year is all it takes to turn EVERYTHING around if you wanted to.
Now imagine that x2 and where you could be!
4 things that I am very proud of that happened this year –
I published over 100 blog posts –
I’ve always loved writing, I’ve always believed I could be a writer….but I never consistently wrote.
This year was hands down the best year of writing I’ve ever had. I got into great writing habits. Great at consistently releasing content. Great at keeping the writing train going.
Was I perfect? Far from it. There were a handful of months where I dropped off, but did I ever stop writing entirely? Nope! I just stopped releasing all of it. Experimented with some new forms and got backlogged while traveling. It happens.
We live and we learn right? Next year I can focus on eliminating or reducing the number of times I drop off. Try to find a better releasing pace.
Overall I’m very proud of the amount of content I produced this year. I’m thrilled that I was able to get out everything I did.
And guess what? Right now I’m considered a Top Writer in Mental Health on Medium 😎
I can now walk slacklines up to 50m –
When this year started I couldn’t walk more than a few steps. Couldn’t turn around. Couldn’t bounce on the line. Couldn’t stand in exposure. Couldn’t do a chongo mount. Couldn’t do nearly everything I can do now.
I learned all of this in a year, and I got in great shape because of it as well. Consistent training works wonders.
Despite many instances where I took off 2 weeks or even a month at a time, my consistent practice whenever I had the opportunity elevated my game to heights I never thought possible.
When I look at the evolution of my skills I’m baffled. For example, look at the difference between myself in February to where I could barely sit>stand, to in October, where I’m making the line look like by bitch.
That’s some serious progress!
Next year I’m excited to see where I will be on the Slackline with another year of consistent training under the belt. The goal for this year?! Highlines!!!!!!!
I became (by my own standards) fluent in Portuguese with 0 traditional studying –
I did it by writing text messages to my Brazilian girlfriend, using google translate, and listening to music. I never once wrote any vocabulary down, never studied grammar online, never took a single class. I spoke, I wrote, I listened. I put my practice into action and after 1 year I speak better Portuguese than I ever thought I would.
And this comes from someone who is traditionally shit with languages. I lived in Argentina for 6 months and my Spanish is still shit. Lived in Korea for a year and only picked up a few words. Lived in India for 3 and the words I knew when I landed are the same I knew when I left. I’ve never been very good at learning languages.
So the fact I was able to pick this up with no conscious studying and just by having fun? That’s a serious lesson in what you can learn when you don’t treat it as studying.
I maintained a “regular” job and saved money!!! –
I’ve had a non-traditional career path, to say the least. I was an English teacher for a year, then worked as a researcher, then did some online marketing, then started a recruitment agency, then last year decided to shut that business down and do something new. I’ve also done a lot of random side hustles as well.
Entering the new year last year, I had no idea what I would be doing for work, but all the same I had faith that everything would work out. And it did.
I found a great job that allows me to work remotely, I work with a great group of people, and I’m making good enough money to finally save money every month. I’ve also been able to build a team under me that also works remotely, and I’m learning a lot my 2nd go around as a manager. Despite frustrations that have arisen, I’m grateful for what this opportunity has provided me during a transitional year.
As much as I have always loved not following the traditional path, it feels good to be able to say that I didn’t freak out and jump ship, and that I stuck with the role. It feels good to know that I have some stability in an otherwise chaotic and impulse driven hedonistic lifestyle.
Overall – Next year I’m determined to continue this mantra. Consistency, consistency, consistency.
This year I released over 100 posts, but I can’t lie – I wrote many of them last year. In all honesty, when I look back on this year, I feel like many of these blog posts were from last years (2017) insights.
In reality I only started releasing posts about my thoughts and philosophies THIS YEAR in around June. So when I look back on my writing, which is often reflective of my learnings, I don’t really see the strong reminders until then.
Nonetheless, here were the top performers –
- Take Care of Yourself Before Helping Others
- The Most Important Relationship is the one you have with yourself
- Anchoring to the Present Moment
- Energetic Empathy
- The Normalization Effect
Now what do I love about this? 3/5 I wrote in the 2nd half of this year (June onwards), and 7/10 in my top ten were written after June as well. What does this tell me? That my writing was getting better, and I was better at writing on great topics. This trend makes me happy 🙂
What were my favorite posts though? The posts that were most reflective of my learnings this year?
- Appreciate when the waves are calm – Appreciate the normal, routine days where nothing happens, because when the storms of life come your way you’ll be clutching onto the boat for dear life.
- Energetic Empathy – Be conscious of the energy that you create for yourself and the people around you, and vice versa what energies you allow into your life.
- The Black Belt Mindset – The key to success? Consistency over an extended period of time. Every person who has done something worthwhile did that activity consistently for 5-7 years before they reached success…be more patient.
- The Normalization Effect – You can make anything your new normal. Intentionally do things that are outside of your norm to establish comfort in what used to be strange. Make the strange and uncomfortable your new normal.
- Kill the Dragon – Whenever we finish a small habit that sets us up for success, we’re killing the dragons of laziness, procrastination, distraction and more. Kill the dragons of life that are preventing you from becoming who you want to be.
Gotta love how looking back on my blog is a strong anchor to all of my personal philosophies 🙂
This year I read 18 books but it was a slow year in learnings from them. 2017 was probably the best year of reading I ever had, so it was a hard year to follow up. Nonetheless, here are some of my favorite books, and my highlights of them to go along with it.
- Wooden –
- My favorite quote from this book? “”Success is peace of mind, which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you made the effort to do your best to become the best that you are capable of becoming.” – Peace of mind from trying your best. This has been my adage all year. Always give your best effort.
- My Highlights
- The Rise of Superman –
- This book was so good I read it twice back to back. It is about the science of “Flow States” and how to essentially reverse engineer them by looking at the tales of extreme sports athletes. “Flow” has become my recent obsession, and you’ll be seeing a lot of writing from me in the coming year on this topic.
- My Highlights
- Tribe of Mentors –
- I highlighted this book over 300 times, I think that gives you an idea of the gems written in here. It’s like the self-help bible, a collection of all of the best minds in the world and how they think about the same 10 questions.
- My Highlights
- Dark Tower #2 – The Drawing of Three –
- Always gotta throw some fiction in here as well. This was easily one of the best books I’ve ever read. I was glued to it and crushed it in under a week. Couldn’t stop. Read it!
- My Highlights
- Non-Violent Communication –
- The holy grail of books on communication. It provides a great methodology for having difficult conversations. More or less, it says to 1) Provide examples of what the person did wrong 2) How did that make you feel/what did that cause? 3) How does that violate your needs? 4) What do you need them to do for the future so that it doesn’t happen again?
- Ex) When you barge into my room it makes me feel violated and defensive. It violates my need for privacy. In the future please knock on the door before you come in.
- No highlights on this one just yet as I read it on audio, but re-reading it now so stay tuned!
My New Years Resolutions –
I’m not a big fan of New Year’s Resolutions, as I believe that the bulk of your work really takes place throughout the year, and maintaining the habits are the most important part. Overall, I feel that I have a very strong routine in place, I take good care of myself, and I’m a very happy person.
Having said that, I’m also a believer that there is always room to improve, and that we can set destinations instead of goals. For example I don’t like to say “I want to write 100 blog posts this year”, instead I’ll just say, “write consistently” – and if I do that, I should get to the desired number in the end. Destinations rather than goals. Direction instead of itinerary.
Having said that, here are the resolutions that I have in place for this year –
Doubling down on the wins –
As Grant Cardone says, “If you’ve done it once, you can do it 10 times.” I believe that this 10x rule is an important principle – not that you need to 10x your results, but if you have had one success, can you do it again? And again? 5 times? 10 times? Finding your successes, and then replicating them.
In terms of the Slackline what worked? Consistency. Now replicate that. In terms of writing what worked? Longer stories performed better so – write more long stories. In work what worked? Voicing myself no matter how uncomfortable and directly asking for what I want – so I will do this again next year. In relationships? Being my most authentic self – so I will do that again this year 🙂
This year I want to pay attention to replicating the successes of last year. Having consecutive great years strung together off of habits that built upon each other.
Building upon the previous topic, my biggest win this last year was consistency. I consistently trained on the Slackline. Consistently practiced Portuguese. Consistently released articles (with the exception of a few months 😛 ). Consistently read books.
Everywhere I see consistency I see progress. More importantly, I see momentum. I see how consistency in habits creates a ripple effect I will feel days later. Consistency is the work that goes in now for a better future.
So this year – remain consistent. Write. Read. Train. Don’t let the momentum of last year fall by the wayside and die. Ride the waves of consistent momentum.
Put my money to work –
Last year I saved money. This year? Multiply it. Put my money to work for me.
I want to learn more about investment opportunities in real estate and the stock market. How to put my money to work for me. How to use my earned income to make money for me while I sleep.
A big focus of this year is to learn these strategies. Play with some of my money. Take some educated risks.
Investing in myself –
Building on the above, this year I want to invest in myself. In online courses. In coaching. In certification. Learning from the best that other people can teach me so that I can implement it into my life.
Im considering becoming a certified therapist through an online course. Or maybe in Mindfulness based stress reduction. Maybe both! I want to invest more money into learning and improving myself. Sharpening the sword so to speak.
Last year I spent a lot of my money on myself (more than I ever have by a large margin) and it paid dividends in countless ways. I bought Slackline’s and balance boards and foam rollers and books and clothes and all sorts of wacky shit. Investing in yourself is a big big way to improve yourself.
From a law of attraction style perspective, I’m also seeing that what you are able to earn is a reflection of what you are willing to spend on yourself in a month. I believe that the more money you’re willing to spend on yourself, the more potential you have to earn a lot of money. My current limit is more or less my monthly salary, and I want to escape that mindset and realize that there are no limitations and money is a resource and choice multiplier – the more you’re willing to spend the more choices you have and the more opportunities you can create.
Collaborate More –
I’m always trying to do everything on my own. This year I want to collaborate more with other people. I want to start businesses and projects with other people. Multiply our energies so that we can achieve more. Work in interdependent environments where we have complimentary skills.
This year I’ve made it a goal to start at least one project (and maintain it for the year) with at least one person. Start something with someone. Work collaboratively towards a common goal.
Anyone down out there to team up?! Shoot me some ideas haha!
Work out the kinks –
I have a handful of physical problems I’ve been avoiding for some time, mostly related to sitting too much and having tight hips and bad posture. This year my primary physical goals are to improve my posture and open up my hips. Both of these will also help with the Slackline and helping me to eliminate the lingering pain and injuries I’m still trying to work through.
Then as a small side one that I believe will improve both – Pistol Squats. I’ve been wanting to be able to do these forever, and mark my motherfucking words I will be able to do one before the year is up.
How will I do this? Consistency! Drilling my posture while I walk, while I meditate, while I work. Stretching consistently. Practicing one legged squats throughout the day.
We gonna get there!!!!
Less is More –
Work slower. Do less. Say less. Say what you need to in less words. Get to the point.
Get the simple things right and everything else falls into place.
Often the answer is do less, try less. This will be another year of slowing down and being more consistent with less practices, rather than trying to pile on more than I can handle.
Final thoughts –
We are the result of our habits. Instead of New Years habits, I like to ask myself, “What are the habits that worked that I should continue doing?, What are the habits that hurt me or held me back, and what are the new habits that I should add in?”
When I went through that exercise, this is more or less what came back at me. Looking back and understanding what happened in 2018 to better set me up for a strong 2019. You can do the same.
Also, instead of setting a goal of the entire year, why not just focus on January? Why not just focus on Q1? Smaller chunks help. I will be checking in with my progress on these habits all year so that slacking off isn’t an option.
I know the work that lies ahead, now time to strap on a smile and buckle up for another 365 days of LIFE 🙂
Also published on Medium.